Sunday, November 1, 2009

Phish, Festival 8 - Indio, California - Night 2 - All Hollows Eve


We split from our hotel around 3, and got into the venue around 345. The field was hot and littered with the beginnings of people’s costumery.

There was a signifigant amount of walking involved on this campus with several vigourous security checkpoints. Naturally that has its pros and cons. Major delays will make af ew tempers will flare, especially when someone's going through your things and your favorite band is already playing. Having not received a map or bill of the event yet, I was eager to receive a Phishbill, mocked up as a Broadway playbill. The second page revealed the secret album teaser, Rolling Stones - Exile on Main street. Now, I am a stones fan, but sadly a newbie. I was rooting for MGMT, but surely glad to experience Phish take on the stones.

Set I (Afternoon): Sample In A Jar, The Divided Sky, Lawn Boy, Kill Devil Falls, Bathtub Gin, The Squirming Coil, Runaway Jim > Possum, Run Like An Antelope

The afternoon set was mild and accurate. Dare I say standard fare, but I've nothing bad to say. It felt like good day festival music. After the day set we took to the campgrounds to survey the living scene. Shakedown tended to operate in pockets and the majority seemed to be t shirts and stickers, as glass is not welcome in these parts due to horse hoof sensitivities. After enjoying the sunset and temperature cool-off it was time to head back into the main field for set 1 of the evening festivities.

Costumes began emerging out of tents to be tweaked and adjusted in car mirrors and windows. It's really something to see people putting their creative energy into an identity for 1 night. Couples, kids, staff, groups of friends, in masquerade sporting packaged costumes, 3D concepts, politics and current event in style. It’s a portrait of the times and with the stage Phish has set, everyone is part of the show. The lights dimmed to Thriller splashing over the audience. Quickly on the lcd monitors a video montage pulsed to a 99 album tribute mash up that really got the crowd pumped and in a dancing spirit. Phish walked out and started in on their journey with interpreting this epic album.

As rumored 3 horn players stepped out and brought the show to a bright and soulful place. Sharon Jones joined soon thereafter and elevated every note to a new place. Naturally Loving Cup was a crowd pleaser and really kicked off an evening of intense glowsticking.

Set II (Night) - The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main St.: Rocks Off, Rip This Joint, Shake Your Hips, Casino Boogie, Tumbling Dice, Sweet Virginia, Torn and Frayed, Sweet Black Angel, Loving Cup, Happy, Turd On The Run, Ventilator Blues > I Just Want To See His Face, Let It Loose, All Down The Line, Stop Breaking Down, Shine A Light Soul Survivor

I have to admit to being at a loss of too many words. The album was quite long, it was well attempted and ...nice? Their spin was safe and lent for some real opportunities for Trey to wail and Mike to bring a bluesy bass to life. I was however pretty ready to hear some Phish tunes again.

After a refreshing sit-down and another round of taking in the pyrotechnical delights of the surrounding fields we headed around the rim of the crowd to try to make our way to the front. After a valiant attempt and a few pauses we decided to park about 8 rows deep. Phish returned and looked energized.

Set III : Backwards Down the Number Line > Fluffhead, Ghost, When the Circus Comes, You Enjoy Myself
Encore: Suzy Greenberg

This set was really great. The fluffhead injected everyone with party-time and from then on it was a constant rise to excellency. Ghost got really spacey and funky. YEM was perfect, and Trey gave a little shake of the finger at us while jumping on the trampoline after nearly tripping mid hop. Suzy may have been my favorite tune of the night, the vocalists and horns from set I returned and helped close the entire evening with a fiesta.

Today’s acoustic set was very early so I will review Sunday on Monday so I can squeeze a little pool action in. Its near 95 degrees today and the sun is blazing. Can you only imagine if it weren't November now?

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